Free Write #48: Everlasting Window – Walking down Roal Drive – Marla

by on Oct.31, 2012, under Announcements, Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Character Windows: Short little pieces of flash fiction that have characters from your novel doing everyday things. I’ll be doing this for my free writing for the foreseeable future. The goal is to help create highly distinct characters  for my current ongoing draft of Everlasting.

We’re continuing the last window: Walking down Rodeo Drive! Except that we’re in Everlasting and Rodeo drive doesn’t exist. Instead we have Roal Street, which is the city of Qual’s equivalent. We’ve already seen the street in the prior windows, so this will be more or less a re-hash, except the characters will be focused more on the street itself rather than the theater that resides on it.

Today’s piece is Marla walking down Roal Street. To read Marla’s prior windows click here. Also check below for an announcement regarding Free Writes.


Everlasting Window – Walking down Roal Drive* – Marla
By Nojh Livic 

“Excuse me,” Marla murmured quietly. The nicely dressed man, who was looking over the contents of a scroll pad lifted his hand halfway to stall her before he must have realized he didn’t recognize her voice. He spared her a glance, then looked back to the scroll pad.

“Yes?” he asked simply. There was no annoyance in his voice but he obviously considered the contents of his message more important that directly addressing her. Marla was used to it.

“My compatriot purchased these tickets earlier today. We were planning to attend the performance this evening but it appears that the theater has a policy that will not allow us both to attend. Since I wouldn’t wish to deprive anyone of a chance to view the performance, I was hoping to perhaps pass along my tickets to someone at the theater so that they might be re-distributed. You see we are visiting and know very few people in town who could attend to gift the tickets to…” Marla’s voice trailed off. The man she had approached had been off to the side of the theater. He was dressed in a fine coat and slacks, with a ascot that was perhaps slightly out of style enough to suggest that he was likely someone important to the theater, which was why she had approached him. When she started speaking she had extended the tickets Lee had purchased earlier that day for them both out towards the man, in an effort to forestall any protest that she might be hoodwinking him.

Instead of protesting, as she explained her situation, the man had slowly lifted his head away from his scroll pad to peer curiously at Marla. This too was not really unsettling to the automata as she received looks from those who had never seen a humanoid mecha of her particular design or sophistication on an almost regular basis for as long as she cared to recall the memory. What made her trail off was instead how he continued to look at her questioningly as she spoke, like he was fixated on her and not her words. Marla often found it best to simply stop speaking when someone had decided she was more interesting than her intent. It saved effort.

“You wish to see the performance this evening?” the man asked suspiciously, his brows furrowing. He was looking her up and down now, likely only now noting how she had taken the time to wear her finest gown that she had packed for the trip and even some of the new jewelry she had been gifted earlier that day.

Marla quelled a slight laugh, remembering how she had all but pleaded for Lee to purchase tickets. Instead she smiled and nodded her head. “Of course. The is The Operetta. The name says it all, of course. And it is by Leons Swalari. The theater sections of the Parchen Parchment have been raving about it for issues. I was ecstatic to learn there would be a performance while I happened to be in town.” Marla halted herself to keep from gushing information she was sure the man already knew. Marla looked down at the tickets in her gloved hands and her smile turned rather wistful. “But it is not to be.”

The man followed her gaze to the tickets, then looked back up. “And you said theater policy is keeping you from seeing it?” Marla raised an eyebrow. She had assumed the man was some kind of manager but if he didn’t know their policy then perhaps he was just some would be attendee as well.

“Well um, yes. The theater does not allow automata in general seating,” Marla murmured. “I’m sorry but are you apart of the theater staff? I don’t mean to be rude but the show will start soon and I do want to turn these tickets in to them.”

The man smiled for the first time and it evened out the wrinkles in his face in a pleasant fashion. “No please, let me apologize. No I am not theater staff, however I am associated with the performance tonight. I do believe I will be able to help you. Perchance is your compatriot somewhere near by?” Marla hesitated a moment, then nodded, deciding to trust the man. He hadn’t asked for her tickets after-all.

“Yes. One moment,” she said and turned. There was a slowly growing line of people waiting to enter the theater for the ground seats, while a meandering stream of guild-ed and nobility entered the lobby to lounge before ascending to theirs. Lee was hanging out near the line conspicuously, talking animatedly with a few of them, looking out-of-place in the jacket and slacks she had selected for him. He glanced over in her direction after the group began laughing and she made a small wave to him. It took him only a few hips to wander over.

“Hello,” Lee said in greeting to the man, who half bowed. Lee, caught off guard, half bowed as well, offering Marla several side glances.

“Good evening. The lady says you were hoping to escort her to see the show this evening but there are some troubles with the theater. If that is true, I believe I can help you. Please follow me.” Without really waiting for either of them to respond, the man smiled to both of them, turned, and started walking away from the main entrance around the theater. Marla hesitated for a moment, caught off guard by the stranger calling her a lady, then shrugged and motioned to Lee. Lee took her arm almost automatically and they began following.

They turned down a wide alley, which in the darkening sky might have made Marla reconsider had it not been Roal drive and had there not already been several other people in obvious staff uniforms bustling about carrying boxes from an awaiting transport into a pair of doors. The staff paused and gave the man a respectable bow, if able, when he passed them, and continued to hold it as Marla and Lee trailed after him. The act had her bewildered. She now had no idea who she had randomly approached and started to slowly work up the urge to ask as he lead them through the back passages of the theater. They arrived at an usher just as Marla thought to interrupt their passage. The usher stood attentively but did not say anything.

“Please escort these two to my seats. I will not be needing them tonight. Also have some complimentary refreshments and utilities sent up while they wait for the performance. Oh also-” he paused and turned, smiling again to Marla and motioned to her. Marla gave him a quizzical look, then remembered the tickets. She held them out. “Please take these to the ticketmaster and with my expressed wish that they be re-circulated tonight.”

Lee gave Marla his hundredth side long glance but Marla had no answer for the unasked question. There was a small chance that he was some noble that she was not familiar with but that seemed unlikely given his age. Yet he obviously commanded some authority as the usher agreed respectively, took the tickets, and waited for them to step forward. Marla made Lee wait to address the man instead.

“Thank you,” she said but the man waved his hand slightly.

“No thanks needed. We shall see each other after the performance, I would hope. Please let me know your thoughts and feelings then? I have a few other things to attend to now, however. So enjoy yourselves. Madam. Sir.” He turned on his heels and strode back the way he came. Left with nothing else to do, Marla and Lee were escorted to the man’s seats, which turned out, much to her astonishment, to be a private viewing balcony. Lee gaped slightly, letting go of Marla to walk to the lip of the balcony and look over it, then began to marvel at the optics attached which hung from the wall to allow for a better viewing of the stage area. When he discovered the sounding tubes in the walls, he began babbling excitedly, climbing down to his hands and knees to examine them. Thankfully the usher took this all in stride, letting Marla save face by ignoring him.

“Will there be anything else?” the usher asked politely.

“Um. Yes. A question. Who was that man? The one who asked you to escort us?” Marla decided to ask.

The usher managed not to not even raise an eyebrow but answered calmly. “Mister Leons Swalari, lady.”

Marla paused, nodded to dismiss the usher, then settled herself into a chair to relax. She smiled to herself as she waited for the performance to begin.


Okay so you might have noticed that the title didn’t really fit. That is because this window is a catch up of Marla’s prior window, which you can read here. It is actually the equivalent of Marla buying a theater ticket, while the prior story is Marla’s walking down Roal street. They keep continuity with each other so you might want to read the prior window before reading this one. Which might be too late. Sorry. So in regards to this window I felt like I learned a little bit about Marla but I was swept up a bit more in the story I think. We see a bit of contrast between Marla and Lee here. For example Marla is the more out-going character, being the one who wants to return the tickets. She isn’t asking for her money back either. We also see she takes a very passive stance to discrimination. I’ll likely have to develop that further in some way.

Announcement! Free writes will be suspended for the month of November as I focus on NaNoWriMo. You should be getting nearly daily updates from me in regards to NaNoWriMo, plus Weird Words will continue to post every friday, so I don’t think you guys will be starving for content. Free Writes should resume in December however, assuming NaNo doesn’t kill me. Wish me luck!

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